The Rakes of Mallow's Voice of the Supporters

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sing a song

As the season draws closers I have been thinking of a couple ideas to bring an atmosphere to the stadium. Among them is a song that is a supporters song. By this I am referring to many famous songs sung from the terraces of Europe. Coach Clark brought it up today and I've been trying to figure out what is the best song. Here are a few.

Many know this one in perhaps its second most famous moment:

And another famous one:

Now the question remains, what should the Rakes of Mallow's song be?
There exist such a large bunch of songs

Rakes of Mallow is of course an option:

But the lyrics and speed of the song doesn't resemble something like the above two

The there's the Fields of Athenry:

This song is very deep, and slow, but it's already used by Glasgow Celtic.

Another Song I've kind of taken to heart is Long Journey Home

Replace one of the last set of colors with green, blue and gold, and it sounds quite good

If you have any suggestions of something that resembles the above, or if you like any of the suggestions, please comment below.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hope for China World Cup 2026

Everyone remembers the Bird's Nest right? Well it might be used for sports again. There are now greater talks that China wants to host the World Cup. Ok, that's nice but what does it mean?

It means USA 2022 just became more likely. With the two cycles between the same continent bidding again rule, if China wants the World Cup in 2026, it has to pray for the only non-AFC nation to get 2022. What nation is that you say? USA. USA and China are now allies in the world of football. The question remains, can China convince AFC to force the 2022 nations to let USA win it? So pray for the rising Dragon to convince Japan, Korea, Australia, and Qatar to abandon all hope

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Dives, Dirty and Dullness of a World Cup Final

Well it could have been worse. For anyone who was expecting the 1974 Total Football Clockwork Orange to play the blazing, speeding, and controlling Spanish side of 2008, please put down the peace pipe. Anyone who had seen these two squads play throughout the tournament knew the Dutch played rough and counterattacked. They didn't overwhelm you with skill, rather with brute force and speed. They removed themselves from that team that absolutely imploded in the 2008 European Championship and realized that beauty has to be sacrificed if one wishes to win the trophy. We are in the age of Jose Mourinho football. Ever since the Special One led Porto to the European title we have seen the decay of beauty for victory. Where teams will pack the box, outmuscle the smaller player, and then run down the pitch full speed. This doesn't result in many goals, but it is very effective. The Dutch enacted this throughout the tourney, especially the out muscle part. The Dutch played dirty and physical. A point to be made was how this final had the most yellow cards given out ever combined and to one side.
To reemphasize how physical it was I have a wonderful picture:
I really felt bad for Howard Webb in how the Dutch played. He didn't want to be that ref who gave someone a straight red so early. So he basically warned the entire Dutch team, but the Orange colored street gang persisted. Now many people will slag Mr. Webb for letting a diver send off a player and letting Spain dive (I will address that next). I have a problem with that. The Dutch beat the ever living snot out of the Spanish players and probably should have had one more player sent off (see above). The Dutch came into this in the hopes to beat the Spain by playing a dangerous level of football, and failed. And I say good. It's a lesson that teams who play dirty should never win; but then again neither should teams that are dull and dive.

Spain, the World Champions, should thank the heavens they played a more enjoyable brand of football than Dutch or I would have exploded about how they played today. The Spaniards are quite deserving of being World Champions. They beat teams 1-0 on a very consistent basis, as they passed and passed and passed and passed and passed. Now the Dutch didn't get the memo from USA and the Swiss that smart organized play beats Spain. The Spanish at points were ripping holes through individuals who looked and acted like traffic cones, only to have these traffic cones be bailed out by a errant pass or a poor chance. The Dutch occasionally looked lost. The Dutch did have one thing going for them though: Spain being slow.

Now the Spanish team in 2008 ran wild on teams and combined their short and accurate passing with speed and a constant whir of gears all being fluent. Not this time. The Spanish were slow moving and didn't seem to be in that much of a hurry. Pedro, who just doesn't seem to fit, constantly possesses the ball and never passes. The remainder of the team all want to be heroes so they never pass to the open man on the other side of the box. As for tactics, as soon I saw Spains lineup, I thought this game was going to be mind-numbing at points. They took no risks, no thoughts of putting heavy weight on the Dutch for a full 90. Fabrigas needed to be there to create space. Torres should have paired up with Villa later in the game, it was like the Spanish wanted to go to a shootout. They got lucky in one of the moments where the traffic cones failed to clear the ball. Spain lacked intensity I was expecting.

Spain also went down very easy. Yes the Dutch played deplorable defense, trying to break legs, ankles, knees, and the occasional sternum, but the Spanish chose to throw themselves down as soon as contact was felt. I believe going down easy is a tactical maneuver which should be used occasionally to get the ref to notice a constant barrage of fouling. Doing it repeatedly, no. Diving, which the holy goal-scorer did, just was sickening. I hate watching replays and seeing no contact and a player flying through the air.

Now given these were the biggest complaints about this game and I do understand that its a World Cup. Single elimination title games are always cagey and uncomfortable and usually rely more on mistakes than skill. Usually teams play physical, or timid, or a little dirty, but both of these teams didn't make an enjoyable final. For those of you who are only with us every four years can go back to your soccer hating. For those of who you follow soccer, at least domestic play will be a constant. So congrats to Spain on being the slightly better team and winning the Cup in which you have always seemed to choke in. As for Holland, I have a movie for you to watch.

See you all in Brazil!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Battle of the Chokers

There is one difference as you can see between these two teams. One has a trophy the other does not. Now the question is what teams will be showing up on Sunday afternoon on your televisions. Will we see the Spain side that dominates possession and makes a back line look inept as passes slice through or will we see the Spain that dominates possession and makes the back line look like world beaters, cutting out predictable passes and making Spain overcommit for the ensuing counter. The same goes for the Dutch squad. As I posted the other day, the Dutch have only lost to one team in regulation dating back to 2007. People have slagged on the Dutch saying that the team is weak, not as talented and has nothing going for them. That same team has won every match at this World Cup. The Dutch know how to win, that's not the question. The question is can they win. They could show up play brilliantly and lose or show up, play ugly and win. They are a team that will be interesting to watch from the first minute because they can play in more than one way.

These two teams are historically bad when it comes to winning a final. They are always fun to watch, attacking, and very technical, but both teams have always come up short on the global stage. Luckily for one of them, they can toss off that mantra on Sunday, while the other one will sink further into infamy.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hup Holland Hup

Image Curtosy of Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

Looks like Soccer City will be very orange on Sunday. The Dutch team who many people thought had an easy path to get out of their group and then fall to Brazil. Well the Clockwork Orange is still ticking in South Africa and Samba was sent home. But its not like the dutch team has been lucky this time. They are good; very good. The Dutch have not lost a match in regulation since November 17, 2007. The only match that they lost between then and now was with Russia the 2008 European Championship, and that took extra time. I hope Spain and Germany don't think that the Dutch will choke as they have always done, or else they will be in for a surprise.

Speaking of Spain and Germany, the Dutch's win today made this the first ever World Cup played out of Europe to be won by a European team. To put another point in perspective, this event resembles a bit like the 1974 World Cup. A team devised a system to win using style and beauty, and have always been the darlings of the tournament they never won; while another team played hard every game. The question is are the rolls reversed this time?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Change in blog

Considering the potential growth of the club and the access that more members of the group should have to creation of content, I have begun the converting from iweb to google based sites. Also the University will likely be requiring I put a site on their server. So this will make the transfer easier. All the older blog posts can not be converted, however they can still be accessed through the following link:

Have a good summer,